The attitude adjustments I remember as a kid are far different than the norm today. Time out's weren't invented yet. I remember being spanked, though not too often. I remember the belt. Only took once! And I remember weeding our half-acre garden. Several times.
I decided to go old school when my 6-year-old daughter was misbehaving over the weekend. A time-out or DS denial just wasn't going to cut it.
As my son and other daughter headed to the pool with my husband, I handed my oldest a tank top and said, It's gonna be hot.
After a few minutes, she settled down enough to change clothes. She finally came downstairs and I informed her of our task: the backyard. Her first assignment was to pick up all the toys in the backyard and on the deck. She said, I can't carry all these. I said, make two trips. She said, it's too hot. I said here's some cold water. After about 15 minutes of work, she started to settle in and a metamorphosis began. Her attitude started to change.
With the toys put away, we set our sights on the screened-in porch. I think I saw a partial smile. I put a rag and a bottle of cleaner in Campbell's hand and told her to wipe down all the chairs and tables while I cleaned the cushions. She became almost cheery, spouting off random animal facts. From there I moved her to the glass doors and railings. After a little bit of redirecting, she finished, in a much, much better mood than when she started. She took pride in the fact her rag was nearly black with dirt and the porch was sparkling.
Mission accomplished. Nothing like a little elbow grease to restore good behavior.
Who's next? Garage could use some work.
Lynda is the mom of three kids and co-host of Mix 101.5 WRAL-FM's Bill & Lynda in the Morning. Find her here on Thursdays.